Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2013 Issue »

    Learning from Teacher Observations

    Challenges and Opportunities Posed by New Teacher Evaluation Systems

    Heather C. Hill and Pam Grossman
    In this article, Heather C. Hill and Pam Grossman discuss the current focus on using teacher observation instruments as part of new teacher evaluation systems being considered and implemented by states and districts. They argue that if these teacher observation instruments are to achieve the goal of supporting teachers in improving instructional practice, they must be subject-specific, involve content experts in the process of observation, and provide information that is both accurate and useful for teachers. They discuss the instruments themselves, raters and system design, and timing of and feedback from the observations. They conclude by outlining the challenges that policy makers face in designing observation systems that will work to improve instructional practice at scale.

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    Heather C. Hill is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her primary work focuses on developing new measures of mathematics teacher and teaching quality and using these measures to inform current policies and instructional improvement efforts. She is codirector of the National Center for Teacher Effectiveness and also principal investigator of a five-year study examining the effects of Marilyn Burns Math Solutions professional development on teaching and learning. Her other interests include instructional improvement efforts in mathematics and the role that language plays in the implementation of public policy. Hill has served as section chairs for the American Educational Research Association and Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness conferences and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Mathematics Education, Elementary School Journal, and American Educational Research Journal. She is the coauthor, with David K. Cohen, of Learning Policy: When State Education Reform Works (Yale University Press, 2001). 

    Pam Grossman is the Nomellini-Olivier Professor of Education at the Stanford University School of Education. She has published broadly in the areas of teacher education, teacher knowledge, and the teaching of English in secondary schools. Her current work focuses on organizing teacher education around core practices of teaching and leveraging observation protocols for professional development. Grossman is a member of the National Academy of Education and currently serves as the faculty director of the Center to Support Excellence in Teaching.
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    Summer 2013 Issue


    Leaving the Space Better Than You Found It Through Song
    Music, Diversity, and Mission in One Black Student Organization
    A Gifted Education
    The Importance of Still Teaching the iGeneration
    New Technologies and the Centrality of Pedagogy
    For Colored Kids Who Committed Suicide, Our Outrage Isn’t Enough
    Queer Youth of Color, Bullying, and the Discursive Limits of Identity and Safety
    Eric Darnell Pritchard

    Book Notes

    Beyond Binaries in Education Research
    edited by Warren Midgley, Mark A. Tyler, Patrick Alan Danaher, and Alison Mander

    Educational Experiences of Hidden Homeless Teenagers Living Doubled-Up
    Ronald E. Hallett

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